Mechanical Fuel Reduction Grants for Central Texas Now Open | KWKT

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (FOX 44) — Property owners in central Texas can now apply for grants to help reduce the risk posed to their properties by wildfires.

The Texas A&M Forest Service says the State Fire Assistance for Mitigation – Mechanical Fuels Grant provides financial assistance to landowners to reduce high wildfire risk fuels using mechanical fuel reduction practices.

“These grants will be used to protect high-risk communities by reducing their risk of a catastrophic wildfire through fuel reduction,” said Texas A&M Forest Service fuels program specialist Victoria Wenkman. “Implementing fuel breaks and reducing fuels on property can reduce the behavior and spread of a wildfire, which can potentially save lives and property.”

Firebreaks are a section of withdrawn vegetation that can reduce the intensity of fires, protect first responders by giving them wide access routes, and slow incoming wildfires.

“A fuel cut can also benefit native vegetation and wildlife, allowing shaded fuel cuts where large native trees remain and smaller invasive species are suppressed,” Wenkman said.

Funding will be provided to private landowners to reimburse costs associated with hand-cut fuel cuts using chainsaws or mechanical mulching using mechanical brush cutters, forestry mulchers and similar equipment .

32 counties in Central Texas are eligible for funding for actual costs not to exceed $750 per acre for hand-cut fuel cuts or $2,000 per acre for mulched fuel cuts. The maximum reimbursement for either method is $10,000.

Priority will be given to property owners who live in designated counties, are located to protect the most homes and values, are located in a county or city that has a community wildfire protection plan, or live in a Firewise USA website.

After the application deadline, submissions will be ranked – and letters of approval or rejection will be sent by September 30. If approved, applicants have 90 days to contract and complete the fuel cut work.

For more information on the State Fire Assistance for Mitigation – Mechanical Fuel Reduction grant, you can view an eligibility map and apply here: https://bit.ly/3IB6LDa.

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